New hire at the city: Arborist Kris Stultz

Kris Stultz has been selected as the new Arborist for the City of Pensacola, bringing more than 40 years of arboriculture experience to this newly created position at the city. In his role as the city’s Arborist, Stultz will be responsible for managing the city’s tree ordinance and any other tree related activities, including planting, maintenance and removal of trees located within the city.

Stultz joins the city from Apogee Tree Consultants, LLC., where he most recently served as a Consulting Arborist. His first day with the City of Pensacola is Monday, Feb. 7.

Stultz said the city’s Arborist position appealed to him because he is ready to transition from working for corporations to a job that gives him more opportunities to make a positive impact.

“I’m looking forward to making a difference and helping with the sustainability of the City of Pensacola’s urban forest,” Stultz said. “This phase of my career, I’m looking to leave a legacy and to do something that’s for the public and for the long term. When you have a position in the urban environment, it’s more about preservation, sustainability, and long-term beautification of the environment.”

In addition to his extensive arboriculture experience, Stultz is one of only seven International Society of Arboriculture Board Certified Master Arborists/American Society of Consulting Arborists, Registered Consulting Arborists in the state of Florida, and the only arborist with his credentials in the Panhandle.

Stultz has spent many years as a professional tree climber, also serving as a judge and a setup team member for the Florida State Tree Climbing Competition for the past 20 years. He learned much of his trade in the Northeast, but fell in love with Florida after moving to the state about 20 years ago.

Stultz said his specialty is tree structural mechanics, including risk assessment and studying what causes trees to fall apart. When it comes to finding a balance between development and tree preservation, Stultz said there are often other options to removing trees completely – although there are times when removal is the best option.

“I find that a lot of trees that are removed didn’t need to be removed,” Stultz said. “If you’re looking at it as a give and take, it’s more give than it is take. There’s a lot that can be done to preserve trees that just isn’t done because people just don’t know. But there’s a delicate balance, because trees have a limited lifetime, just like people.”

As the city’s Arborist, Stultz will work under the direction of the City Engineer, Public Works and Facilities Director and Deputy City Administrator to evaluate and maintain trees located in city parks, street rights of way and city-owned property. Stultz will also perform comprehensive tree maintenance activities, including diagnosing tree defects, nutritional deficiencies and other problems in order to determine and implement remedial measures.

“I’m very excited to have Kris Stultz join the City of Pensacola in this new position, and I look forward to seeing how his arboriculture knowledge can benefit our trees as the city continues to grow and develop,” Mayor Robinson said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have his expertise as one of the few Master Arborists in the state right here in Pensacola.”